Tryst with Destiny: On this day, August 15 in 1947, India gained independence as a new nation. The midnight speech of Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India (pictured on left, with Mahatma Gandhi) to the Indian Constitutent Assembly began, “Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially. At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance.” The speech is considered a masterpiece of oration and marked the triumph of the nation’s 100-year largely non-violent struggle for independence.
Happy Birthday, India!
Nehru (14 November 1889 – 27 May 1964) was a noted pacifist, poet and prolific author. A lawyer by profession, he was inspired to join the freedom fighters by Gandhi. It was Nehru who ensured secularism by focusing on the plurality of the Indian people. His daughter, Indira Gandhi, also became Prime Minister.
Tryst with Destiny Speech: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tryst_with_destiny
Independence History: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/India%27s_independence_movement